We are not going to yell at each other about this one because it’s a truth for all: Alan Kim was the delight of this award season and we could have used more of him during the show. 

It looked promising at the beginning, well before Alan even showed up on the red carpet, because photos were released of him in his Oscar outfit – in shorts! I especially enjoy the last shot in this carousel, as he’s skipping along, probably unaware of how boring the night would be. Come on. He just turned nine on Friday. No nine-year-old wants to spend six hours at an award show sitting with grownups who only want to talk about work. 


Alan of course was at the Oscars as a member of Team Minari and he spent most of the night with  producer Christina Oh, in a badass men’s hanbok-inspired suit. As Duana and I discussed on Show Your Work a couple of months ago, what I love about Alan, besides the obvious cuteness, is that he’s still a kid. There are no actor airs about him, at least not yet. Check him out on the carpet: 

He’s just out here entertaining himself, like he could be waiting for his parents to pay at the grocery store, or waiting for them to finish up talking to people at church before going home, and not the biggest entertainment event of the year. It also kills me how Christina, as soon as she finishes up her conversation, comes straight over to him and grabs his hand. This, of course, is her responsibility, since his parents have left him in her care, but also it’s because…he’s nine. He’s Alan. And, as established, Alan is clearly not “trained” in child stardom yet – he could take off at any time.


Also, per above, there was a very good chance that he was bored AF. Which is why Joanna is convinced that he was playing video games under his table. 

Alan Kim attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California
Alan Kim attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California

Well, yeah. That’s how you keep a nine-year-old occupied when the adults are celebrating themselves, especially this nine-year-old who could take it or leave it. He’s not yet at the point where he’s consciously looking to be on camera all the time, hyper aware of the attention and seeking it at the same time. And, as Duana noted on our podcast, a lot of that is probably his parents. He had to walk the dog before going to the Oscars! Note too that it was Christina who chaperoned him, and not one of his parents. That may have had something to with the limited about of tickets available but I’m guessing that they didn’t push all that hard to be there. Why? Because as popular as Alan has been this award season, his parents have not been a presence. They’re not in it to share or borrow from any of his shine or push him towards a bigger spotlight. Which allows Alan to have the space to as, organically as possible in this industry, become who he is. Another sign of this is how he behaves in interviews – no answers seem rehearsed. 


Just last week there was an interview with him in Teen Vogue. All of his answers are adorably and precociously candid but here’s one my favourites, when he’s asked whether or not he knows that a lot of people think he’s a great actor. 

“Yup, I know that. I just feel fine with it.”

This is a response that had to have come right out of his head in the moment without being filtered through hours of prep. Then later, when asked about teenagers, he decided to sell out his sister:  

“My sister is about to be a teenager. For a start, she looks at her phone too much. She looks in the mirror too much. She likes to buy stuff a lot. And lastly she has a pen addiction. She has tons of pens. And she also is bossy a lot.”

First of all, nobody was even talking about his sister, he just brought her into the conversation all by himself so he could drag her for being vain and shopping and on her phone all the time like a bratty little brother. Second, his sister Alyssa Kim, who played Young Elsa in the Frozen Broadway National Tour. 

So my point is, I repeat, we could have used more Alan Kim last night! And now award season is over, and we’ll probably get a lot less Alan until it’s time for him to promote his next project, Latchkey Kids, which will be probably a year. Unless of course they send him out for press for Nora From Queens. I would like to put in a request in advance, thank you. 

Also attached – Lee Isaac Chung and Steven Yeun who… did you hear about Elon Musk hosting Saturday Night Live? What the F-CK do we have to do to get Steven in Studio 8H?!